As adults, we do not always have the opportunities for growth and self-improvement that children have. We don’t have a teacher encouraging us to learn more, memorize more, produce better at an ever-growing variety of skills. We don’t have parents encouraging sports, music, good behavior, and obedience. We don’t always eagerly anticipate using our free time to climb, run, and contort our bodies into new positions that stretch and strengthen our muscles. Our bodies do not give us “growing pains” at night as they force themselves to grow in spite of obstacles. If we wish to continue to grow, we must force these “growing pains” on ourselves.
So I have decided to challenge myself. For the next 10 weeks, I am going to do three things each week that I do not want to do. It is time for me to grow more as a person – as a wife – as a homemaker – as a child of God – as a person on this earth. There is not a focus on any particular area of my life – it can be anything. Anything that I would not willingly choose to do when given the choice. I don’t know how this challenge will end! Will I be in better shape? Will I be better at keeping the house clean? Will I have learned a new skill? The uncertainty of the outcome is as interesting to me as the challenge itself! The challenge of self-imposed “growing pains”.
Growing Pains challenge – week 1 report:
Success! I successfully did my three things this week that I did not want to do.
First thing – I deep cleaned the bathroom. Wall to wall and ceiling to floor. Blah! I hate cleaning the bathroom. A swipe over the surfaces we actually touch is plenty. After all, we hire a housecleaner three times a year when the landlord schedules her visits, and that should be enough. Right? I guess for this challenge it isn’t enough. So I cleaned it. My husband loved it. Task number one complete.
Second thing – I cleaned the kitchen cabinets and countertops. We have just tons of food in this house. And now all of it that is supposed to be in the cabinets IS IN the cabinets. And all organized by type and container. And where they used to be piled on the counter, the counter is now cleaned and polished.
Third thing – I joined a gym. ARGH! For a whole year I have put that off. I have an objection to paying money for permission to go somewhere to do something I can do other places. But when it comes to working out, the reality is that I just *don’t* do it anywhere else. For example, I have some free weights in the house, but something else always seems more important and I never lift them. So, I found the gym on campus where my husband is a student, and their rates for spouses are extremely reasonable. So I paid for a membership. $45 for the 10 weeks of this challenge. No limit to the number or duration of my workouts, and it includes access to all their facilities, all their equipment, locker room and showers. They even provide the towels, so it helps reduce my laundry. (Hey, I’ll take whatever justification I can find.)
Bonus thing – I have actually worked out at that gym. Twice. I did a little the first day I joined, and went back for a longer workout later in the week. It’s not fun, but I’ll be able to do it. If it ever becomes fun, I can’t count it on this challenge anymore, but that will be OK because then I’ll be having fun. But if I keep the intensity up and do enough to make sure I’m sore, then we’ll see how long I feel comfortable counting it as something I do even though I don’t want to do it. Time will tell. I’m starting a bit slow with the workouts. I go back and forth between a stationary bike and free weights, and finish up on the rowing machine.
So week one is complete. My house is cleaner and my body is sore. I have forced some of those growing pains, and I see some growth in my life already. Week two, coming up!